How often should you inspect your investment property?
Routine inspections are a key part of maintaining the condition of your investment property. Plus, they can also help to ensure open communication with your tenants. Keep reading to learn how often you should inspect your investment property and why.
You need to balance tenant privacy and regular inspections
It’s smart to be proactive about property inspections, but you also need to respect your tenant’s privacy. The regulation varies between states, but generally, you can inspect your property up to four times each calendar year. Whether you’re self-managing your property or have a property manager, you must give your tenants at least seven days’ written notice for an inspection. For any follow-up appointments and repairs, you must provide at least two days’ written notice to access the property.
Regular property inspections can help you save money
Routine inspections are an effective way to quickly action repairs and maintenance, and it also helps to check if your tenants are looking after the property. For example, you or your property manager may notice a leaky tap in the bathroom. If a plumber is booked to fix this soon after the inspection, it could cost between $60 and $100 (depending on your location and the specific repair). However, if the small leak wasn’t spotted, it could become a larger problem that will cost hundreds of dollars to repair.
Routine inspections set a standard with your tenants
Ideally, the standard of your property when it was leased and your discernment when leasing the property has helped you to secure quality tenants. If your tenants know that you or your property manager proactively take care of repairs and maintenance, they are more likely to report any issues between inspections and look after your property. However, in the case of tenants not looking after your property or suspected illegal activity, routine inspections allow you to take next steps before small signs turn into big, costly problems.
What maintenance items should you check at routine inspections?
There are key things you should check at each routine inspection to proactively action any maintenance and repairs. While every property is different, you or your property manager should check the following at each inspection:
· Smoke detectors: You need to book a separate annual smoke alarm check, but it’s worth checking the smoke detectors at routine inspections too.
· Mould and dampness: Check window frames, walls, ceilings, and wet areas for signs of moisture build-up, a musty odour, or visible patches of mould.
· Structural cracks: Large cracks around doorways and uneven flooring can be a tell-tale sign of structural damage.
· Loose or unstable balcony balustrades: Any signs of instability on your balcony can be a major safety problem. Book a building inspector and close the area immediately if you suspect the area needs repair.
· Exhaust fans: Make sure exhaust fans are working and clear of dust and dirt. Replace broken exhaust fans quickly to prevent more costly problems such as mould.
· Termite damage: Check for signs of termite damage such as stiffness when opening or closing windows and doors and a hollow sound when wood is tapped.
A consistent routine inspection schedule benefits everyone — you, your tenants, and your property manager. It helps keep your property in top condition and ensures any problems are addressed before they become costly to repair. If you haven’t inspected your property in a while, organise a routine inspection in the coming weeks to ensure everything is in working order, and repairs are completed quickly.
Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.